Saturday, 23 June 2007
I sat at the desk, stared into the screen at a white form window into which I wanted to type.
I sat there a good ten minutes, waiting for words to come.
I wanted to write the best story ever written.
After half an hour just anything would have been enough.
I felt dry, barren, wordless and yet,
there was such an intensity burning within that I thought I might explode if I didn't get something out.
So I wrote whatever came to mind.
Then re-read it, selected it all, and hit the delete key.
I guess it was just one of those days.
I crossed my legs up on the chair, swung it round a little, away from the ugly glare of the computer screen, and tried to become silent.
I felt restless.
I always felt restless.
I wondered about it some, and it seemed to me the world had done this to me.
Everything I had ever been taught was geared to leave me in this state until it became my daily state.
I had been born moist, soft, impressionable, fluid. I had been moulded into something inflexible and constantly agitated.
The world had turned me into a creature that sought ambition, that was coiled up tight in a spring that only unleashed itself in achieving something.
I was driven nuts trying to achieve stuff.
It was an addiction that never ceased.
From morning to night I had to be doing something, going somewhere, aiming for some conclusion, and if I wasn't?
I got a little neurotic, depressed, gloomy, tense.
I had to achieve.
The fuckers, I thought, they got me!
The door opened unexpectedly, and in a reflex action I minimised the window and tried to make out I had been reading the news reports instead.
'What you writing?' she said
'I wasn't.' I lied. I didn't know why, it was a reflex, a conditioned response, one of panic.
'Yes you were,' she said playfully, but knew I was on the defensive and didn't push it.
I had a momentary insight and came clean,
'I can't seem to write anything, I mean, I feel lost again, didn't know what I should be writing. It isn't coming out right. I am writing shit. I need some inspiration.'
'Why dont you try and get some of your stuff you have written published?' she said
'It doesn't seem right to go down that road' I replied, but secretly I would have loved nothing more. I thought I was a genius, I guess I was afraid of discovering that I wasn't. It seemed safer to live in the dream.
'Well why bother doing it then?' she said, 'If no one is going to ever get to read it, it seems like a waste of time.'
This was the way we all had learnt to think. The way she said it, I figured maybe she was right, after all, the rest of the world would have agreed with her. I felt more lost. I felt pathetic. The evening was not going well. The day had been a long drought, a silent wait, sitting about thinking any moment the words of a genius novel would hit me. But they hadn't come, they never came. Just brief bursts of lyrical delusion, nothing more stunning than a wank. A personal moment of glory witnessed, one hoped, alone and then spent and for what?
Maybe writing was a waste of time. What did it achieve?
Well there it was again.
Achievement, ambition, results, gains, profits, what was wrong with the world? What was wrong with me? fuck them, fuck them all. I felt like putting Pink Floyd's - The Wall on and dropping some acid.
She walked into the kitchen with some groceries.
I remembered then that I had promised to do the washing up.
'Jesus Mark!" I heard and huffed.
'I was about to do it, I wasn't expecting you back yet' I said.
I heard her clatter for a bit. I looked at the cats. The kitten was lying on its side it wanted to play but the older one, she looked more like she wanted to eat it. They weren't getting on yet. The kitten was new, the older cat was pissed. Kitty kept getting attention.
'Your cats are at it again, been fighting all day' I said
She walked back in, distracted by the importance of her babies.
That worked, I thought.
I wondered if she would drop me one day, like she had that old cat when a new one came along. I thought it quite cold of her. She could at least have waited until it popped its clogs, but she wanted something cute to love. Old cat, well, she had gotten too old to be cute any longer. She just ate the food brought for her and sat around looking plump, slow and useless.
I knew the feeling.
I turned back to the computer, I knew then what I would write about, and I began to type.
'Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
When you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.' - Ajhan Chah